What goes on? Reviewing the first and second books of a trilogy? Blame it on Covid-19. People have been cooped up due to the coronavirus, and book sales have been doing well. I’m just notifying you readers that two entertaining novels are now on the market, The Misadventures of Rusty Kenneficke, published in 2019, and the second The Further Life of Rusty Kennefick, this year.
Some of you may have already read a couple of Keith’s earlier books, about his travels. In 1963 he and a buddy rode a pair of BMW R50s from Oregon down to Chile, and later wrote a good book, MotoRaid, about the trip. After that trip he got into the motorcycle business, owning several BMW shops in Seattle, Washington. But the travel bug remained with him, and in 2013, 50 years after the first adventure, he and his original buddy did that trip again. The new book was called Ride On; Moto Raid II. Then he retired, and decided to write some fiction. Now, he might not be in the same league as Sinclair Lewis or Hemingway, but he is hoping to catch up with John Grisham.
The first book finds Rusty Kenneficke 37 years old, divorced, and aspiring to become a writer. As more than one author has noted, it is relatively easy to write, very difficult to sell books. He buys a motorhome with a rack on the back that can hold his motorcycle, and takes off, hoping to get inspiration. Instead he gets involved in a whole lot of misadventures, beginning with a motorcycle crash with a woman he recently met on the back! That relationship did not go well.
He visits his folks, but becomes responsible for destroying his father’s water-skiing boat; not a good sign. He meets unpleasant people in RV parks, including a fellow named Boomer, who goes to prison for a few years and blames Rusty. Further misadventures have Rusty and his brother getting drunk and crashing his brother’s wife’s car, with all sorts of problems following. He drinks too much at a friend’s house and tears up his Achilles tendon trying to do a fancy dive into a swimming pool. Dad shows up so he can come home to recuperate — and he ends up almost burning the family house down. Salvation, of a sort, comes when he meets a long-ago girlfriend, Jan.
The second book has Rusty changing his life, dating Jan, getting a job in a motorcycle shop — about which the author knows a lot, making it a very interesting part of the book. He covers all aspects of the business, from finances to hiring and firing. A couple of years go by, and Jan, who has a good deal of money from a failed marriage, tells Rusty she wants them to buy the dealership. Good fun. Until Boomer returns.
We don’t know when Book Three will appear. These two hardcover books are available from www.keithsrides.com $18.95 apiece, plus $4 shipping.